Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton slammed Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday, blaming him for the fallout from the state’s budget impasse.
“In Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner has been holding the budget hostage for months, endangering public colleges and universities, hurting families, and demanding outrageous concessions from public sector unions,” Clinton said during an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees event in Las Vegas.
Rauner is currently locked in a contract battle with AFSCME Council 31, which represents over 35,000 Illinois government employees. On Tuesday, the governor’s office released a contingency plan that deals with a potential AFSCME strike, which could come as soon as September.
Clinton also bashed Rauner during a February campaign speech in Chicago, chastising his pro-business, union-weakening Turnaround Agenda and faulting the governor for cuts to social services and higher education.
“The governor has refused to start budget negotiations unless his so-called ‘Turnaround Agenda’ gets passed first,” Clinton said. “Now, his plan will turn Illinois around. all right. All the way back to the time of the robber barons of the 19th century.”
“They need a governor who will actually pass a budget,” Clinton said.
The former Secretary of State also claimed that Illinois Republicans were pushing an agenda that impedes on union rights
“When I look at what’s happening here in Illinois, it’s a Republican agenda to roll back the clock on everything that made the middle class strong in the 20th century, it’s pretty terrifying,” Clinton said. “They want to undercut workers’ rights, undercut unions. You know, the American labor movement was essential to building the American middle class.”
On Tuesday, Clinton also condemned Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for weakening the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers in his state and warned against future efforts to subvert union rights through the courts.